by Sharon Kapnick
In the past few years, some box wines have been getting the clever packaging they deserve.* Just as an appealing wine bottle and label attract attention, so does a well-designed bag-in-box. And since the box may be around for a month or more, it’s especially smart to use an eye-catching container.
Kudos goes to Volére Wines, which has recently introduced three novel pocketbook-shaped boxes, cord straps included, to the U.S. market. The wines, from the Delle Venezie region in northeastern Italy, are appealing too. (While this area is best known for its white wines, I preferred the Rosé and the Merlot-Pinot Noir.) They’re all made by the Cantina di Soave cooperative winery, which boasts more than 2,200 members. Although the group was founded in 1898, today it’s not only thriving but also leading and innovating. It was recently named one of 43 Rising Stars by the Beverage Information Group in part because it’s showed notable growth over the past few years.
As with all box wines, the inner bag collapses as the beverage is dispensed, which ensures that no oxygen–a spoiler of wine–reaches it. The wine stays fresh for at least five weeks. The container is recyclable, conveniently lightweight when full, and easy to carry. Although each 1.5-liter box, equivalent to two standard-size bottles, has a suggested retail price of $14.99, the purses can be found for $10.99.
Pinot Grigio 2011: Aromas and flavors of green apple, peach and pear. Crisp, fruity. Serve as an aperitif or with antipasto and other appetizers, salads, white meats, sushi and seafood.
Rosé 2011: A blend of grape varieties indigenous to the Veneto Hills. Aromas and flavors of strawberries, raspberries and rose petals. Bright, fresh. Rosé is extremely versatile. Try this one on its own or with appetizers, charcuterie, salads, chicken, white meats, grilled vegetables, barbecue, picnic foods and seafood.
Merlot-Pinot Noir 2011: Aromas and flavors of red berries, cherries and currants. 80% Merlot-20% Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is usually bottled–or boxed–on its own, but it’s been turning up more and more blended with other grapes. The combination works nicely here. Serve with pasta, duck, grilled meats and mushrooms, vegetarian entrées and cheese.
*See my story “Tacky No More: Making Boxed Wines Look Chic” at www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1995832,00.html to read about Underdog’s cool Octavins and Wineberry’s wood Berry Boxes.
Note: I requested samples of these wines.